Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Outer Banks Ocean & Sound Action

There has been ocean waves and blasting in the sound. I'm getting way more comfortable in the ocean but by no means a wave surfer yet.

It has been such a fantastic trip so far. The crew is from Georgia, Charlotte & Greensboro. It is a treat sailing with people better than yourself since you pick up tricks and progress much faster. Donald, Rob & Mac certainly are getting there. I'm still working on handling the shore break and staying up wind- but this my second trip being in the ocean shows marked improvement. Check out George's & Bill's blog for the best photo coverage of Wave Jam. Andy just posted a vid showing how fun wave are with full power in the sail.

Mark, Mac, Rob, Bill & George- Deciding between 6.5 & 4.5

I have had 2 epic sessions in the sound so far. Canadian Hole was so sweet Saturday after being in the ocean. Mark and I road that east wind until sunset- this after my second day straight in the ocean. I hit the sound again Monday. Started the morning blasting on a 9.5 / 158L. Then suddenly, shortly thereafter, rigged a 5.8 / 106, 4.7 / 106, 4.2 / 85! Most of the crew hit the ocean again for some off shore wave sailing but I stayed in the sound since it was rocking! It is much deeper north of C' hole so there were some monster swell out there! I was wave sailing on that swell and chop hopping like never before. Wind was super punchy- at no point did I just get to relax and free ride. It was always switching between hanging on for dear life and pointing down wind to counter a lull. This is awesome practice for off shore wave sailing. I countered the lulls by mainly staying with the 4.2 / 106L combo. In the gusts it was like riding a bucking bronco but in the lulls the volume keeps you coasting. I even almost did an unintentional forward loop on one monster jump. I decided to back the throttle down a a bit after that 8)

The crew back in the sound for a sunset sesh.

And then there is stand up paddling (SUP). I rented a Starboard Drive from Andy at Sailworld for an ocean session with the crew yesterday. The wind was west but dropping through the afternoon. Mark and I paddled out past the shore break and I caught my first wave! I was actually still on my knees but that counts! I spent some more time trying the paddling and catching the waves standing- not impressive to the casual observer but I did catch a few outer breaks. The wind was just enough to make paddling a workout so after watching Mac and Rob on their SUPs with sails I had to rig a 4.7 and try. WOW! With a 4.7 that 10' 5" board was awesome. I spent probably half an hour just getting used to the circuit going out and coming in. I kept getting further in and riding the bigger breaks. By the end of the session I finally worked up to really riding the breaking wave. It felt spectacular and was one of the most fun things I've ever been a part of.

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